svs vs hsu
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In the world of subwoofers, SVS and HSU (HSU Research) are two fairly popular subwoofer designers and manufacturers. In this article, we will be making a comparison of SVS vs HSU to see how they compare as companies and how their subwoofer stack up against each other. 

SVS vs HSU Subwoofers Comparison Table

FeatureSVSHSU
Sound QualityPlay very deep ~ 20HzExcellent for music
PricingMore expensive for the same output/performanceLess expensive for the same output/performance
DriversRelatively good driversHuge output, small size
Customer SupportGoodFair
SizeTypical subwoofer sizeGenerally a bit larger
DesignModern and sleekRather vintage
Build QualityGoodVery Good

SVS vs HSU Overview and History

HSU History and Overview

HSU Research began all the way back in 1991 with the famous Dr. Hsu. He set out to create the world’s best subwoofer.

hsu subwoofer company logo

The fact that the company is still in existence speaks to the fact that he at least created something impactful.

Indeed, they made an impact when they hit the market and created some powerful subs and speakers. For example, their VTF series became quite popular. 

SVS History and Overview

SVS original mandate was to hit the market with quality devices that challenged over-priced, underperforming so-called “high-end” subwoofers and speakers.

svs subwoofer company logo

They wanted to bring immersive sound to everyone, not just audiophiles who can afford expensive equipment.

Today, the company is growing in strides which speaks to their passion for creating world-class speakers, subwoofers, and audio accessories.

Overall and in general, SVS and HSU Research are fairly well-known companies in the audio world, but SVS is larger. 

Sound Quality

HSU Sound Quality

Over the years, HSU remained true to its original mandate – to create the best subwoofers ever. Today, the company’s subwoofers excel. Systems set up with HSU subs sound great in the bass region.

The fact is, HSU subs are better than most subs on the market because of their specialization and dedication to producing excellent bass.

For example, the HSU ULS15 is an accurate rumbling monster. Their Ultra Linear Sealed Subwoofer (UL) line represents one of the most remarkable performances per dollar subs to date.

HSU ULS15
HSU ULS15

In general, HSU subwoofers are excellent for music. Another example of a powerful sub is the HSU VTF3 MKII. This subwoofer offers earth-shattering bass. 

Another cool point to mention is the port flexibility of some of the HSU subs. With this feature, you can tweak output strength, or extension, to your listening preference. It’s a pretty cool feature that offers excellent value if you like tuning your subs. 

SVS Sound Quality

In general, SVS subwoofers play deep, as real subwoofers should. In general, all SSV subs perform well. Even the low-cost ones like the SVS pb2000.

SVS pb2000
SVS pb2000

 

SVS and HSU offer excellent sounding subs. SUS generally plays deeper, but HSU offers incredibly powerful subs. 

Pricing

HSU Pricing

Even though it’s a relatively small company, HSU does offer a pretty good bang for your buck.

For example, the VTF-3 MK5 HP or even the VTF-15H-MK2 will have a much higher output per dollar than most SVS subs.

SVS Pricing

SVS doesn’t offer the kinds of value for money that HSU provides. This is of course not to say that SVS doesn’t have excellent subs, they do, just that they are not as affordable as HSU for the same performance. 

The fact is that that there are more comparable options at lower price points than what SVS offers. For us, it’s all about quality and not necessarily a brand name. Once another sub offers the same quality at the lower price point, why purchase the more expensive sub?

Bottom line is, HSU provides excellent value for money while SVS offers excellent value at a higher price point. In fact, HSU offers some of the best performance subs for the money in the industry.

Take, for example, two comparable subs, the VTF1 MK3 which you can get for about $400. On the other hand, the SVS PB1000 will run you about $500.

Drivers

Both HSU and SVS offer excellently built drivers. In this comparison, we will be looking at 12″ drivers. 

HSU Drivers

HSU drivers excel in both sound quality and huge bass. Take the HSU Research PF-12100LP for example.

HSU Research PF-12100LP

This is an excellent driver that can pump some serious output. The great thing about these drivers is that they require a relatively small enclosure. This means they are a great fit for compact home audio setups or a car audio system.

SVS Drivers

Ther PB12-Ultra/2 are SVS’s best drivers. They are very good drivers that offer great quality. However, you won’t get the low distortion available from XBL^2 technology.

 

Customer Support

When speaking about customer support, it helps to keep in mind that HSU is a smaller company than SVS. 

HSU Customer Support

HSU customer support is what you would expect from a smaller company. They have dedicated phone lines and email addresses, but you may not get the type of support you would form a larger company with dedicated support teams.

This is not to say their support is incredibly lacking because you can speak to their agents who are very knowledgeable and will help you solve issues. We are just saying it may not be as easy as you would with a larger company. 

SVS Customer Support

Firstly, SVS currently offers free freight even on their 60 days in-home trial return policy. This speaks to their guarantee and good customer support.

It’s a larger company likely with dedicated sales and support teams and so, they offer much better customer support. 

 

Subwoofer Size, Design and Build Quality

Size, design, and build quality are coms of the most important considerations for subwoofers. This is because subs tend to be large, placement is very important and design largely determines sound quality. 

hsu vs svs build quality

HSU Size, Design, and Build quality

HSU build quality is solid, simply put. Their subs offer the type of quality that you would expect from custom-built options. 

Of course, with this type of craftsmanship focused on durability, you don’t get the type of modern, sleek design that many people like.

Most HSU subs tend to look a bit older, meaning vintage. Additionally, HSU subs tend to be large, though their drivers aren’t necessarily too bulky. 

SVS Size, Design, and Build quality

SVS subwoofers can stand up to any modern sub in terms of sleek design quality. These subwoofers are well built from excellent designs using quality materials.

 

Room Filling Bass

Filling a large room with bass requires that the sub is able to move or pressurize lots of air which means size/volume. 

HSU Subs and Room Size

HSU tends to have larger subs than SVS. Of course, these larger more powerful subs can fill a room easier. For example, HSU 15″ subwoofers are monsters at filling large rooms. 

What’s cool about the HSU is you can change the response of the subwoofer by plugging one port, changing the Q value, and/or changing the EQ value. Let’s say you set EQ2 with both ports open to get more headroom, in this case, the sub will play louder but may not play as deep.

SVS Subs and Room Size

SVS subwoofers offer incredible “boom for the buck”. By this we man, they offer good room-filling bass if you are trying to pressurize a fairly large room.

If you want to minimize the number of subs you have without having to try out too many subwoofer placement options in a large room, SVS is a good option. 

 

Example Comparison: SVS pb1000 vs HSU VTF1 MK3

Frequency Response

One of the most important factors to consider with a subwoofer is frequency response. This is particularly important when you consider professional studio systems when you are using reference speakers and reference amplifiers.

SVS pb1000 vs HSU VTF1 MK3
SVS pb1000 vs HSU VTF1 MK3

Now as far as these two subs are concerned, contrary to popular belief, the frequency response for the Pb1000 and VTF1 MK3 (in one port mode) are practically identical. The fact is, neither is deeper than the other.

The advantage of the HSU sub is that you can change the response of the subwoofer by plugging one port, changing the Q value, and/or changing the EQ value. 

Remember we said SVS subs can go quite deep? The SVS pb1000 plays effectively down to 20hz.

Of course, this is the threshold of human hearing, so it’s as deep as you can get with a sub. The HSU VTF1 MK3 can get as low as 30 Hz. So, the SVS hits significantly deeper.

Power

In terms of power, SVS is the winner here. The Pb1000 is much more powerful, at about 4dB higher which is quite significant.

In fact, the Pb1000 is about 3/2 times the power of the HSU VTF1 MK3. In other words, it would take three HSU VTF1 MK3 to equal a dual SVS Pb1000 setup.

Pricing

The VTF1 MK3 which you can get for about $400. On the other hand, the SVS PB1000 will run you about $500.

 

Conclusion

SVS is a safe pick when it comes to subwoofers. They offer good performance/value and so you really can’t go wrong with them. Moreover, if for some reason you’re not completely satisfied, you can send them back and support is not difficult to reach. 

HSU also offers excellent subs with great value for money. If you like more vintage options that are durable and powerful, then HSU is a great choice.